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Discussion Starter #1
First post - but feel free to be as brutal as you like.

I have a crashed Gen 1 Leaf. It's now in bits.
I also have a very pretty 1973 Karmann Ghia convertible. Bit tatty, but perfect for a conversion.
I'm keeping the VW transmission to avoid IVA and retain historic vehicle status. I'm open to EVERYTHING else. Originally I intended to transfer as much as the electrical systems into the VW as possible, but I've been talked out of that.

Progress so far:
Leaf dismantled
Battery modules roughly positioned (I made polystyrene mockups as I am a lightweight myself) - all 48 fit in the cabin, surprisingly, so there is space under the bonnet for the charger module. The 2 lumps of converter/inverter should fit in engine bay and hopefully connect with the OEM links.

So what would you do? There's a lot of debate over original versus aftermarket controllers etc but surely it makes sense to retain as much of the original hardware as possible for cost and reliability reasons. However I am told that it's nightmare to get stuff happily chatting once it's all reconnected in a new environment.

Again - I am open minded and to happy to fork out (or not save) a couple of grand here and there, but I want this thing running by next summer! And I ant it to embarrass the odd GTI at the lights with a retro installed drop in brain board.

Oh boy, oh boy - opinions please? PS I've read the thread outlining the pros and cons, just interested in peoples views.

I'll post lots of pics as I progress/fail/win. What I lack in knowledge I easily make up for in optimism.
 

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Excellent choices...

Getting the Leaf stuff to work outside of the Leaf involves CAN bus programming and some Arduino hardware. It's...not simple. You'll have to hack the CAN protocol, or repurpose bits of other people's open-source projects. Some components seem further along than others...None of them have anything that works out-of-the-box.

I gave it a mild whack and ultimately decided I'd rather spend money, and thus wound up buying a bunch of stuff from Thunderstruck instead. Maybe next time. :D

The tricky bit here will be getting the Leaf motor mated to the VW transaxle. There is no pre-made adapter, and pre-made adapters run about a grand. The Leaf motor is also a bit more cumbersome than the Warp-9-style motors more often mated to VW transaxles.

For what it's worth: It would be super easy to mount something like an AC51, and its limited max RPM would be no problem since you'll have a full gearbox. They're more expensive and less powerful than the Leaf setup, but it might balance out if the Leaf motor proves tricky to install. You can still use a lot of other stuff from the Leaf. If you can use the Leaf, I would, but there are options if it proves onerous.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks for input, both of you!

I think the thing that is really vexing me is that the accepted wisdom seems to be that once the components are out of a Leaf, they apparently suddenly all fall out with each other and won't talk. I've meticulously labelled everything, and my priority intent is to repurpose as much of the Leaf as possible.

A number of people have pointed towards the drop in brain board, and I love the idea of releasing more power from the motor. It just bemuses me that all the essential elements are there already, so why chop it up?

Tremelune: On the conversion plate and coupler - London Electric Vehicles are working on a solution but it's few months away. In the meantime I'll be busy locating batteries etc so I am cool with that. In fact, hoping to get a bit done over the bank holiday weekend so I'll be posting some pics going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well I have had a very productive holiday weekend. Battery pack is disassembled and cardboard box mock up have shown me the the Karmann Ghia is very much open to packaging 50% of the batteries over the rear axel and 50% over the front. Good news.
IN fact - there is a kind of unused parcel shelf behind the rear seats that PERFECTLY fits the main 24 unit Leaf battery cluster, buzz bars, BMS the lot. I'm very happy about that. The other 24 modules fit under the bonnet with the fuel tank removed quite snugly.

If I could work out how to embed photos in these posts, I would! None of the icons on the message editor seem clickable, any ideas? Is it because I am using a Mac?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I assume you've found this thread. It's my trials and tribulations with regard to keeping the Leaf system intact in another car:

https://www.diyelectriccar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=199847

If you can get it working, it's by far the cheapest way...It's just...all or nothing. You'll definitely want to make sure you can spin the motor on a bench before installing stuff in the car.
Wise words. I'll be doing exactly that. Except that the bench will be the car as I am committed to using the motor and batteries. I'm gong to install just the batteries, remove the seats and get everything set up semi in situ before making anything too immovable.
 

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I think the thing that is really vexing me is that the accepted wisdom seems to be that once the components are out of a Leaf, they apparently suddenly all fall out with each other and won't talk.
I don't think the components care where they are... but once any component is disconnected the conversation between them may stall.
 
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